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Call for the FSA monster to be tamed

Friends Provident is planning “best of sector” ethical funds in a bid to keep up with the widening appeal of socially responsible investment.

The company says the move, due later this year, responds to the broadening

appeal of ethical investments which includes an increasingly wider mix of

consumers.

The new funds will invest in companies in any sector which demonstrate the

most socially responsible stance among its peers.

Friends says this stops investors missing out on any high-returning

sectors which may be traditionally barred for investment through products

with more traditional “dark green” stock selection with stricter ethical

criteria.

The company says investors range from the very ethically minded, who put

ethical concerns before profit, through to those who would like to include

an ethical element but remain more concerned with returns.

Friends pioneered the ethical sector with the launch of its strict

criteria “dark green” stewardship unit and income trusts in 1984.

The new funds address consumer concerns on traditional ethical investment

products not providing as high returns as traditional non-ethical funds.

External communications manager Jim Murdoch says: “Investors can engage in

the benefits of socially responsible investment by taking ethical option

into account without altering investment philosophy or stock-selec tion

criteria.”

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